Monday, November 9, 2015

Christmas Cactus Care

It has been years since I have tried to successfully grow a Christmas Cactus. Back in my first days of growing houseplants when I first moved out on my own, I didn't bother to do my research.  I'd just buy a Christmas Cactus and eventually kill it.  I treated it the same as all of my other houseplants.

When I found the following articles, they peaked my interest in trying to grow Christmas Cactus again.  If you are also an amateur at growing these beautiful plants, check out the following articles.

Click here for the article from WikiHow, How to Care for a Christmas Cactus.

Click here for Secrets to Getting Your Christmas Cactus to Bloom.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Common Gardening Mistakes

Mistakes . . . we all make them!  We are not aware of some mistakes.

I ran across an excellent article on common gardening mistakes that all gardeners should read.  Some I was not aware of and through the years, I have done a ton of gardening research.  You never stop learning!

Click here to go to the very informative article 15 Common Gardening Mistakes Everyone Makes.

Some things to keep in mind . . .

Through my years of gardening in moderate zone 9 climate, the "rules" for winter depend on the weather.  It is not a bad idea to push the limits and experiment in certain climates.  For example, my best success in propagating hibiscus was during the winter when the temperatures were consistently in the 70s.  For one thing, I broke the cardinal rule of not hard pruning during the winter months.  

The experiment was a monumental success and I had a record number of hibiscus ready to plant in the spring and had enough to give away to other gardeners who were happy to share cuttings and surpluses of their own.  You never know unless you push the limits.

The photo is a version of my garden back in 2000.

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Discover Hypertufa Plant Containers

Hypertufa plant containers are so cute!

I've made lots of concrete plant containers and have heard of hypertufa, but have not yet made any.  The great feature of hypertufa is less weight than concrete.  I love my concrete containers, but huge containers are almost impossible to move around.

Fine Gardening (photo source) has an excellent article on hypertufa, including Peg's secrets, whose containers are shown in the photo.

Click here to go to the article.

Click here for an excellent guide to concrete and hypertufa recipes . . . great information!

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Those pesky weeds!

Now is the time to cut down next season's weed population.

October is a perfect time to take care of those pests since we are out there doing seasonal maintenance.  Actually, anytime is a good time to avoid the over-population of the pesky weeds. 

The secret is to not let the weeds set seed.  Pull them out or kill them before they have a chance to seed.

Anytime I am walking around the garden, I make sure to go out with a plastic grocery bag and pull weeds here and there as I encounter them.  It is so much easier to keep them under control if you routinely pull them out as you are just wandering around.  

Want to identify the weeds that grow on your property?  What Weed Is It is an excellent article for starters.  It includes links to other articles and publications.

Weed Management Guide for Florida Lawns is another resource for Florida gardeners as well as gardeners in all zones since it includes some great information about weeds in general.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fabulous Stepping Stone Inspiration

Stepping stones are a quick way to add color and sometimes functionality to an area of your garden.

My favorites are the colorful mosaics like the ones in the photo.

Making your own stepping stones can be a fun experience the whole family can participate in.

Click here for an article that features 23 stepping stone projects!

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DIY Lace-Like Stepping Stones

Here's another creative DIY project to add some pizazz to your garden design.

Karen from Mindful Matters came up with a most unusual way to use lace doilies to paint these stunning stepping stones.  What really makes them special . . . they glow in the dark.  How cool is that?

Her painting technique will work for a number of projects.  Anywhere there is a surface to paint on!  How about a boring concrete carport floor or that back room floor that needs to be painted . . . garden containers, walls . . . you get the idea, you are limited by your imagination.

I will be incorporating Karen's painting technique for a future project for sure!

Click here for Karen's article on how to make these gorgeous stepping stones.

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DIY Fake Rocks and Boulders

There is no limit to what you can create with this type of project.

You may simply want to add some large fake boulders in your garden design, make the facade for the waterfall and pond you have been dreaming of or a raised bed that doubles as a place to sit.

Once you know the basics of creating a rock, the method is the same no matter what the size of the project.

I've worked with concrete for garden projects for more than 10 years and I must say that for me it has been a very satisfying and addicting endeavor.  One project leads to another!

Click here to go to the article, "How to Make Fake Rocks and Boulders" from eHow.  You will also find links to other methods of making rocks, boulders, etc.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Spectacular container garden arrangements

Container Garden News is one of my new favorite gardening websites.  Not that I needed too much convincing, but I am really loving planting container gardens rather than planting in the ground.

I'm totally in love with the container in the photo.  Since red is my favorite color, the shades of red and purple in the container are so strikingly beautiful and immediately caught my eye.  Usually, I will incorporate red into my container plantings by painting the containers red, but the beauty of this container has convinced me to try a combination of red leafed plants and red flowering plants.  The Captain surprised me with gorgeous caladiums with red centers that will work perfectly!

The photo comes from the website Power Flowers.  Click here to check out the website.

Click here to go to the article from Container Garden News, featuring eight different container plantings from various websites.

Future posts will definitely feature more container gardening inspiration and I hope to include my new creations soon!

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Companion Planting Top 10 Plants

One of my organic gardening habits is to plant marigolds with my peppers and tomatoes since they assist in keeping the pests away.  Making small changes in your gardening routine can make a big difference.

The blog Imperfectly Happy has posted an article on Companion Planting that is very helpful and informative if you are interested in adopting some of these practices in your garden!  Click here to go to the article.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How To Grow Plants From Seeds and Cuttings

Although I love to go shopping for beautiful blooming plants, there is something about the challenge and wonder of nature that growing from seeds and cuttings brings.  My love for propagating plants goes back to my childhood days!

Click here for a very informative article on seeds and cuttings, excellent for a beginning gardener, but also informative for the seasoned gardener.  The article is from one of my new discoveries, Empress of Dirt.

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